You have worked hard through your labour to meet your sweet baby and now they are being placed onto your chest and into your arms. The innate desire to embrace your newborn holding them close and secure to your body holds incredible benefits to both you and your baby. This beautiful moment in time is known as the golden hour a biologically innate experience that can have long lasting benefits.
The first hour after birth is becoming commonly honoured as a time for mother and baby to bond and initiate breastfeeding. These benefits are reason enough to protect this sacred time although the benefits to both mother and baby extended much further. Recent studies have shown that honouring the Golden Hour helps to regulate baby's body temperature, stabilizes their heart, respiratory, blood sugar and oxygen rates, and encourages healthy bacteria transfer from mother to baby perfectly acclimatizing them to each other supporting the beginnings of a strong immune system. Mothers who have extended skin to skin contact with their babies from birth feel more bonded to their infants, have greater confidence as new mothers and have less breastfeeding concerns with higher milk supplies.
Honouring the Golden Hour is simple. Request immediate/extended skin to skin contact within your birth plan and to your care providers before hand and at the time of delivery. This can also be honoured in cesarean births. As long as both you and baby are healthy there is no need to disturb this time. Most newborn procedures can be done with baby on your chest further prolonging your time to bond and soak in all the beautiful benefits this sweet time has to offer. You have both been waiting a long time for this.